Basketball's a funny sport. One game Ryan Boatright hits a step back three, and it feels like you got hit by a Mack Truck. The next game, your sophomore point guard hits the most dramatic buzzer beating layup ever, and you're positive you could walk to the moon and back in your underwear.
Or something like that.
Let's breakdown Troy Caupain's heroic layup in a way only we can:
1. Caupain starts his drive at the top of the key. With the amount of time left on the clock, you're not sure if he's going to pull up for a jumper or drive and take his chances. Everyone on UC's bench is seated in anticipation.
2. Crap. He picked up his dribble. No one near the rim and no time for a rebound. The lone UC senior is standing in the corner, and damn it, Jermaine wants the ball to win it! Plus there's a freaking 7 foot defender just a step away from the lane. Two assistant coaches start to stand up. THE DRAMA IS REAL, FOLKS.
3. Caupain gets an advantage and turns the corner. No looking back now. He's two steps into his motion towards the rim. Tie or go home. Two assistant coaches are all the way on their feet now, clipboard in hand with what I'm sure is this exact play drawn up.
4. Look at Coach Davis. Calm, cool, collected - almost as if he's the guy who needs to keep his blood pressure down. Hunched over on one knee as Troy starts his ascent. Tie or go home.
5. THIS IS IT. Fractions of a second left. Bearcats down two. Caupain releases the ball as Purdue's senior point guard, Jon Octeus, sits elevated and ready to swat back whatever attempt Troy brings. Walk-on Zack Tobler knows this may be a One Shining Moment as he starts to climb to his feet.
6. The ball's released in time. It banks off the glass and sits at the back of the rim. Gary's going to fight for a rebound even if there's no time left. Typical Gary, love it. Tobes is all the way on his feet - the only Bearcat to rise from the bench so far. The UK faithful up in the top right look unimpressed. Can't blame them, I guess, but THIS IS A BUZZER BEATER IN MARCH, BOYS!
7. The drama. The ball's now completely spun around the rim and rests ever so gently back near where it started. Troy's doubled over, leaning forward like a semi-pro golfer inching his putt into the hole. And Coach Davis? As cool as blizzard in January.
8. IT DROPS! As if there was ever a doubt. Caupain goes all Incredible Hulk under the basket. The crowd goes nuts. The bench goes nuts. ERRYBODY'S GOING NUTS! 'Cept Coach Davis, of course. At this point, I'm not even mad at the guy. Gotta respect the ice in those veins as a buzzer beater falls in your favor.
Let's zoom in on the bench to get the full reaction:
(Left to Right:)
- Coach Davis - You'd think he's been here before, but, as UC fans, we know that's not the case.
- AD Mike Bohn (red sweater, first row of stands) - Hands in his pocket. Probably called the make before the shot went up. Baller.
- JaQuon Parker (grey suit, bench) - Straight electrocuted. Guy got hit with a 1,000 volts of Troy Caupain-ness. He's roasted.
- Rob Blissit Jr. (black shirt, bench) - Literally falling out of his chair. Probably the same reaction every UC fan had at that same instant. He's crushing the life out of Coreontae DeBerry's lifeless body next to him. Love it.
- Gary Clark (on the court) - A fist pump that'd make Tiger Woods blush. Let's play OT, boys.
One more angle on Parker. Love this guy.
You know the rest. Bring on Kentucky.